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Deep Sleep

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Album Review

A nice side effect of being a band indebted to the past since your inception is that the years wear well on you. Such is the case with New Zealand heavy rockers the Datsuns, who've been peddling a fuzz-drenched retro hard rock since 2002 and continue to mine that vein on 2014's Deep Sleep, entrenching themselves in every manner of '70s heavy rock that they can worship. They'll churn out thick-chorded rockers reminiscent of AC/DC, ominous monuments of doom straight out of Sabbath, a bit of untrammeled fury recalling Detroit renegades the Stooges or MC5, or some straight-up boogie ("That's What You Get" could vie with Foghat), a broad palette that would be enjoyable on its own, but Deep Sleep shows the benefits of veteran status by being accentuated by flair taken from something other than a double-gatefold LP. Usually, this amounts to any number of lifts from '60s psychedelia: the foreboding "500 Eyes" lightens up on its verses thanks to its sly melody, "Creature of the Week" pulsates with trippy organs, "Sun in My Eyes" pounds with the abandon of a garage rocker. These fluctuations, quite easy to hear under the sheets of fuzz, is what keeps Deep Sleep from being just another solid record for the Datsuns and amounts to something akin to a progression.


Formed: 1996 in Cambridge, New Zealand

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although six months earlier people were telling New Zealand's Datsuns to give up, by mid-2002 London's music press was hailing them as "genius." By then the Datsuns had already been playing their brand of garage rock for six years, ever since they met at school in Cambridge and formed a band called Trinket. Back in 1997, as Trinket, they won the local radio station's Battle of the Bands. The following year, now called the Datsuns, they won again. In the years that followed they released only a handful...
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Deep Sleep, The Datsuns
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